Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Knew I wasn't who I wanted to be
I was living like the way that I wanted
But my eyes reminded me I'm not free
Believe that I saw, everything that I know
Says I gotta go, tired of going solo
But I'm never gonna go there again
This is what it is
This is who I am
This is where I finally take my stand
I didn't want to fall, but I don't have to crawl
I met the one with two scarred hands
Givin' him the best of, everything that's left of
The life inside this man
I've been Born Again
I see you're walking like you're living in fear
Having trouble even looking at me
Wishing that they give you more than words
Sick of people telling how it should be (how it should be)
What's your download, where'd you get your info
Saw that I'm show, now you're in the in-load
I'm gonna tell you what I believe, OH
We are the ones, he called by name
Never gonna look back
Let go, let go the guilt the shame
I said I'm never gonna look back
This is who I am
I am Born Again
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Thus the most liberal of churches appear able to maintain the best of relations with secular culture, but no longer have anything distinctive to say to it! Righteousness has been reduced to equality, agape has paled to fraternity, sin has been replaced with maladjustment, and salvation has become mere civility.The failure of liberalism, then is not one of intent--Schleirmacher sincerely wished his friends to embrace Christianity--but one of strategy: by attempting to translated the gospel into terms understandable to the modern mind, the liberal wing of the church lost the farm. My fear is that the conservative wing of the church, for all its emphasis on missions, evangelism, and church growth, is simply reproducing an already deeply flawed strategy. (p. 52)
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written:
"I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate."
Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength.
Monday, August 23, 2010
It’s not safe
But I know that I’ve gotta make a change
I don’t care
If I break
At least I’ll be feeling something
‘Cause just ok
Is not enough
Help me fight through the nothingness of life
I don’t wanna go through the motions
I don’t wanna go one more day
Without Your all consuming passion inside of me
I don’t wanna spend my whole life asking
What if I had given everything?
Instead of going through the motions
Not this time
I’m gonna let my heart defeat my mind
Let Your love
Make me whole
I think I’m finally feeling something
Take me all the way
Take me all the way
Take me all the way
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
THE ART OF HOLINESS
Instead of hardcore doctrine in legalese, holiness seems to me more like art
TRYING HARD TO BE HOLY. I grew up with lots of preaching about being holy. Holiness was not something left to God or saints of the past. It was pressed upon us as a spiritual state and behavior that is possible, expected, and normal in life—here and now. According to the doctrine, anything less than living to the glory of God—that is, living to please only God with integrity, honesty, love for all, and in avoidance of sin—was abnormal. It was to make us holy and to make holy living normal that Jesus Christ was born, crucified and resurrected, we were told. And the folks in our church and circles tried hard to be holy. They took it very seriously and their seriousness often translated into stifling sternness, rigidity, misplaced judgment, and an obsession for perfection.
INVITING SONG. I have since thought that the value of holiness teaching is not missed at the point of attempting, but at the point of the heaviness most attempting foments. One of the scriptures we were frequently quoted was, “Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness” (Psalm 96:9). That oft-repeated verse, and others like it, came off like a heavy-handed warning, like a command that thundered from above. But, in fact, the phrase is taken from poetry. It is one line of an exuberant, inviting song. Even the phrase “beauty of holiness” suggests something very different from the stifling and restricting context out of which holiness was preached.
LEGALESE OR POETRY? “The beauty of holiness.” What an interesting phrase. It sounds like a work of art by the mind and hand of an artist. Could it be that holiness is not the domain of miter-hatted teachers, nor the terrain of linear-thinking dogmatists, but the milieu of heart-longing, soul-searching artists? Is holiness the language of legalese or the tongue of poetry? Is it historical genre or avant-garde? Is holiness best defined or described? Is it requirement or reflection?
IMAGINATION AND PLAYFULNESS. As a doctrine, holiness lacks imagination and playfulness. It is heavy and solemn when it might be light and whimsical. If one would be holy, contemplate the actions and attributes of the Holy One. The first act of God is to create. A mere walk in the woods reveals that God is first of all creative with a diversity beyond our wildest imaginations. If God is holy, then holiness includes beauty, creativity, imagination, variety, humor, music-making, dance and drama. God is jester in God’s own court.
UNCAPTURED CREATEDNESS. The saints in my childhood church were led to believe their goodness rested in their assent to holiness doctrine and the suspicion-guided restrictions by which they abided. But I believe their goodness rested in their createdness and the part of their being no doctrine can capture. For all their austerity and solemnity, they could not help but occasionally be playful and exuberant. Grace breaks through even to those who do their best to douse it.
MAKING THE CASE. To me, the most compelling case for living in reflection of the holiness of God is found in the music of holiness folk. Songs reflecting heart-felt experiences of sojourners linger with the soul long after preaching is forgotten and doctrinal dictums dismissed. Wesleyan songs sing spiritedly and in amazement of a grace that reaches deeper than the stain of sin has gone. They reflect hope for hurting, longing hearts—hope that realizes its source and fulfillment in the mercy and grace of God in Christ. So, Charles Wesley sings:
Plenteous grace with Thee is found,
Grace to cover all my sin.
Let the healing streams abound;
Make me and keep me pure within.
Thou of life the Fountain art;
Freely let me take of Thee.
Spring Thou up within my heart;
Rise to all eternity.
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
We have also had many people express an interest in learning/presenting some more offertories or “word-in-songs” in the services, in addition to the worship songs. And with our 4:15pm model, there just didn’t seem to be time to get that accomplished.
SO, after much thought and prayer, we have decided to try something new this year. And we are really excited about it!
In short, for the next year, Encore will be turning into a special-event choir. Instead of singing every weekend, Encore will be singing in worship 5 times over the next year. But on those 5 weekends, Encore will be the primary musical and worship-leading focus. The group will lead the worship songs, and sing a special or two. And then the really exciting part is that we will be bringing in some amazing guest conductors to lead you!! I’m still pinching myself to believe that every person we asked was able to commit. Here is the lineup:
• October 16/17 – Pop/Gospel Style – Scott & Vonda Dyer (Former worship leaders at Willow Creek who lead amazing vocal coaching seminars all over the world – you’ll learn a ton!)
• December – Dramatic Advent Songs – TBA (We will be singing some powerful, dramatic songs to tell of Christ’s coming)
• February – Southern Gospel – Eph Ehly (Former choral professor from UMKC, who is probably the most-loved state choir and college choir director ever. Lance and I have both had the privilege of working with him in various choirs in our life, and can’t think of a more inspiring, engaging, and extraordinarily talented director to work with. Thrilled to have him coming!)
• April – Urban Gospel – Randall Fears (Music minister at Memorial Missionary Baptist Church in Kansas City, and a gifted worship leader, songwriter, recording artist, and gospel choir director. He will have you singing like you’ve never sung before! We are hoping to have his and our choirs collaborate this weekend too – will be incredible!)
• July – Pop/Rock – TBA (We will be bringing in an artist who’s presenting at the National Worship Leader Conference next summer, and plan to invite all of our choirs to join with them in worship the weekend before the conference.)
For each weekend that we sing, we will have an all-afternoon Saturday rehearsal (likely from 1-5pm) to learn the music. And then in October/December, we will be presenting the songs in the two contemporary services. We will be sending out a calendar of specific dates very soon so that you can add those to your calendar.
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
This leads to perhaps the most important scene in the movie, with Mac tending a small garden he has planted across the street from the motel. Beresford shoots naturalistically, almost documentary style, in long shot with a long take with no cuts or close-ups. You can't even see Duvall's face underneath his wide-brimmed hat in the slanting sun. But the pain and power of the scene just spill out over that spare Texas landscape. "I don't trust happiness; never have, never will," Mac confesses.
Sunday, August 1, 2010
The synoptic gospel writers all recorded that very first Communion service:
3 : intimate fellowship or rapport
4 : a body of Christians having a common faith and discipline.